If you don’t have a marketing agency, or an on-staff marketing person or department, how do you promote your start-up or mid-sized hedge fund beyond friends and family?

Your sales efforts are paramount, of course. All of your marketing materials, in-person presentations, events, website, eBooks, email marketing, social media, and public relations should help you gain recognition for your insights about your prospect’s issues and pain points. But how can marketing help sales?

1. Differentiate Your Fund

Although the trend line is somewhat down for new launches, the numbers are still impressive. “Since January, 516 hedge funds have been launched, tracking and research firm Hedge Fund Research reported,” said Reuters. “252 newcomers opened their doors during the second quarter, less than the 264 launches in the first quarter.”

In 2014, “A total of 2,040 new funds were started, down from 1,060 new launches in 2013 and 1,108 new funds opened in 2012. In 2010, HFR tracked 935 new launches.”

Let’s say you manage a long/short equity fund, or a market neutral fund, a fund of funds, a CTA, or a or are raising capital for a private equity real estate fund. So how do you make you stand out, and make the complex simple?

You may be able, on your own, to create your firm’s website, write all the blog posts, create a series of eBooks, build the pitch book, prepare and distribute email marketing campaigns, design the landing pages and calls to action, do the design, testing, and analyze the results. And do so in a consistent manner that helps define your story. An agency may help you create an identity to help separate your fund from the herd.

2. Increase Your Visibility

How do you become more visible to your professional network and other high net worth individuals? One more question: How are your marketing efforts contributing to website traffic, lead generation, and asset raise? Many firms cannot answer those questions. If that’s your situation, let a marketing agency answer them for you.

Frequency matters, too. The more blog posts you have, and the more content (eBooks, videos, white papers) you have, on the web and for your personal distribution, the more opportunity you have to reach potential investors. And for the leads that you do have, a lead nurturing campaign that features regular, consistent, perhaps weekly emails, serves to help lead leads through the sales funnel.

3. Target the Right Audience

With pay per click advertising on LinkedIn, for example, you can advertise to and target the specific audience you want by title, years of experience, industry, geography LinkedIn Group membership, and more. With organic advertising via blogging and email marketing, you may also be able to deliver your marketing messages to the investor audience you want with best keyword practice.

4. Be a Leader of Thought

Investors may very much want to know your opinion – on the market, on what to buy and when, on why your investment style may work in today’s environment, and on how you mitigate risk.

5. Increase The Comfort Level of Decsion Makers

When you do all of the above, you may help increase the comfortable level among your prospects – and those who influence them – so that investing with you becomes a decision the decision maker can feel a high degree of comfort.

You may need a marketing agency if:

  • Your assets under management have stayed stagnant or declined

  • Your employees have little or no specific marketing expertise

  • You are not getting enough qualified leads

  • You are not making decisions on data

If you are considering hiring an agency, you won’t have to train them on your industry, on competitors, trends, and best practices. The opposite should be true – your agency should help you discover and implement what fails and what works.